Eff's Rambles (Archive)

11/23/2005

Do you understand individuality and freedom?

The importance of that question is not only to discover others and your own understanding, but if there's an acceptance of the consequences of all variations of the concept.

There is, no doubt, a debate about the needs of the many versus the few. And when one should win over the other is difficult to decide. But, what's disturbing for me is the seeming lack of appreciate, respect, or whatever the term might be, for individual liberties which are contested against by statistical arguments. Why does that bother me? A statistical argument, if accurate, is generally valid. Isn't that correct? I suppose. But it's not always accurate, but, moreso, it's not always valid because of its accuracy. An important thing about individual liberties is that they in part exist because of public respect and tolerance, and its acceptance of the possible negative consequences of the exercise of those liberties. So the question in this context becomes: Whether or not it's about life and death, should we supercede liberties for the sake of a statistical improvement?

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